Hello again, I hope this finds you warm, snuggled up, near a heater or open fire on this cold winters day.
Well, last week I shared how the stories we tell can have a massive impact in your life and the lives of others.
I left you to think about the stories you tell to your family, friends, colleagues or an old friend you bump into. Along with the stories you may have carried from your childhood or events from your past.
But just before we get to that I'd like to share a little more regarding the power and impact of our stories.
Years ago, long before my second divorce, I remember many hours, coffees, and chats with a dear friend, especially after we dropped the kids off at school. We would sit around and talk about our life, how our husbands didn’t do this or didn’t do that. How we wished they’d do this and do that, stop this and start that. Generally, we’d talk about how unhappy we were and all the “problems” we had (never once looking at ourselves). We focused on all the drama, telling the same story over and over, how it wasn’t fair or how hard it was, and so on.
We are still very close friends, but our conversations have changed dramatically. Phew!
The stories my friend and I used to tell were always full of drama and negativity, which in turn (although we didn’t know it then) created more drama and negativity. My main story, to whomever I was speaking to, was always, “I achieve what I want, but it’s always so hard. There’s always some huge obstacle to overcome. It’s exhausting.” Or the other classic one, “I always seem to attract the same type of men.” My story would somehow make its way into the conversation, and thus the cycle continued. At the same time, whomever I was speaking with would have his or her own repetitive, negative story to tell. Neither story was very uplifting or beneficial.
When I now hear other people’s conversations at the local café, on the train, or just out and about, many sound exactly like my friend and I did all those years ago—depressing, repetitive, totally unhelpful and focused on all the negative. Although I understand the temptation to vent, Anthony Robbins brilliantly shares in his book Notes from a friend; that there are much more productive ways to look at our situations rather than just staying stuck in a negative, repetitive cycle of going over the same miserable experiences to feel the exact same negative feelings over and over and asking, “Why me?”
To some degree our stories provide us with comfort. It’s the devil you know. The sick safety blanket. They enable us to indulge in self-pity and enjoy a little sympathetic attention. But it’s pointless holding on to the story, because it’s limiting you today. Karl Moore
As I progressed, I still, of course, had the exact same past experiences, as did my friend. But we looked at them from a new angle. We chose to see the lessons, the silver lining, and the beauty in what we’d been through. We discovered there was no purpose, nor did we have any desire or need to go over the same things the way we used to. We gained the knowledge and ability to stay focused in the present and on gratitude as well as creating a new belief that there is always a solution, always an answer, always hope - and most importantly taking personal responsibility. The result was our exterior world, our experiences changed as our inner world, focus, and stories changed.
In Anthony Robbins’s book Notes from a Friend, he also writes, “Would you sit through a lousy movie over and over again? So why go to a lousy movie in your mind over and over again?” What a wonderful analogy. As humans, we have always loved telling stories. You only have to look at all the DVDs and books in the market. Or think about any social event, camping, and sitting around a fire. We love to tell stories. But our personal stories are often on rerun, without us realising the feelings, emotions, and attachments we have to them and how they affect us and others.
You may have never stopped to think about the stories you tell or the energy and experiences you (or your stories) create.
How do your stories make you feel? Let your feelings be your guide. Pause for a moment, and think about your story or stories. How do you describe yourself and your life to your friends, family, work colleagues, or the people you meet?
I encourage you to sit down and write yourself a new one, a new story. Whatever has happened in your life will, of course, remain the same. But you can look at it from a different angle.
We can see a thorn bush with roses or a rose bush with thorns. It's the same thing just a different perspective.
It may be something like;
- I always seem to meet the wrong type of people/partner.
- I slave my heart out, for what? I never get any appreciation for it or any further in front!
- How your marriage started falling apart in the early days and how you’ve been rescuing it ever since.
- The time you were bullied and how it made you feel suicidal, worthless or vengeful.
- How you never had enough to do what you would have liked in life or how life is so unfair.
Write it down on a piece of paper
”The Story/Stories I always tell”
Just as you used to tell it.
Acknowledge with love and compassion the story you’ve been telling.
Forgive yourself for the pain it has caused you.
Release the story.
Attune yourself to the qualities and feelings you wish to bring into your life. Re-write your story embracing these qualities and feelings.
Write it down on a new piece of paper
"My New Story”
Take your old story and transform it!
Looking at it from a different perspective.